Week in Review - 04/06/2018

Week in Review - 04/06/2018

FY18-19 BUDGET

Ohio is nearly 1 percent ahead of estimates for tax collections this fiscal year, after a month where income and sales taxes outperformed assumptions, according to preliminary March data from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM). Tax receipts of $16.6 billion forFY19 to-date are nearly $137 million or 0.8 percent ahead of estimates. Sales taxes are ahead for the year by 2.1 percent or $156.4 million, while income taxes are about $100 million or 1.6 percent behind after missing estimates in December and January.

 

FY20-21 BUDGET

Gov. Mike DeWine's budget proposal includes double digit growth rates in funding for the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB) and Ohio School for the Deaf (OSD) in a bid to boost early interventions, technology integration, and more safety and support services for the hundreds of children served, many of whom face challenges beyond visual or hearing impairment. Lou Maynus, interim superintendent for both schools, said the institutions have fallen behind the levels of service offered in other states' schools, whereas she would like them to be leaders, particularly as OSSB was the first public school for the blind in the U.S. She presented the schools' proposal Thursday to the House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee.


The House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee explored the interplay between its co-chairs' new funding proposal and Gov. Mike DeWine's plan Thursday as part of discussions on the Ohio Department of Education's(ODE) budget request. Superintendent Paolo DeMaria outlined DeWine's school funding plans and other program changes, including an overhaul of laws on state oversight of struggling districts through academic distress commissions.


EDUCATION

After a week of hearings to fleshout the details of their new school funding plan, the workgroup led by Reps. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson), Friday released financial estimates of its effects on school districts and the state budget. Aggregate traditional school district foundation aid is estimated at $7.24 billion inFY20 and $7.56 billion in FY21, compared to $6.84 billion in FY19. That excludes weighted career-technical education funding, estimated to total $52 million per fiscal year.


Superintendent Paolo DeMaria outlined Thursday the executive budget proposal for reforms to the academic distress commission law, based in part on recommendations he was directed in law to submit to the General Assembly this spring. DeMaria addressed proposed changes to the commission law as part of his overall presentation on the Ohio Department of Education's (ODE) budget to the House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee. The superintendent said his report and the portions of it embedded in Gov. Mike DeWine's proposal are built on the principles of avoiding one-size-fits-all approaches and trying to work with existing leadership and structures rather than supplant them with state authority.


TRANSPORTATION/INFRASTRUCTURE

Gasoline taxes will increase by 10.5 cents in July, and diesel taxes by 19cents, under a final compromise version of the state transportation budget. The deal on HB62 (Oelslager) passed the conference committee on a 5-1 vote, then cleared the House 70-27 and the Senate 22-10 -- all on Tuesday. Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law on Wednesday, April 3 without vetoing any items despite pressure to do so. The final language retains the proposed 55-45 percent split of gas tax revenues between state and local governments, and it includes a five-year phase-in to set the compressed natural gas tax rate at the same level as the diesel rate. Electric and hybrid vehicle registration fees will be set at the House-proposed level of $100 and $200, respectively, but the final version adopts the Senate's language setting definitions for hybrid and plug-inelectric vehicles. The final version also adopts the House's proposal to require only one license plate on vehicles, a change from the current two-plate requirement, to take effect July 1, 2020. In addition, the conference report includes House language imposing new restrictions on cities' use of traffic cameras, putting offenses recorded by cameras under the jurisdiction of municipal and county courts and requiring the state to reduce Local Government Fund allocations to offset proceeds from traffic camera fines.